It was a small group, but a powerful one.
Eleven writers met in the colorful, peaceful wilds of Michigan to reflect, pray and write together in a tiny little community. We listened to inspiring speakers and critiqued one another’s work. We spent time with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
Our retreats are a different experience from our conferences. Smaller, more intimate, more focused on the craft and vocation of writing. It is an experience, a slice of living outside of our normal lives. Margaret Rose Realy (the retreat coordinator) has already written a bit about her experience this week. You can read some of her thoughts here and here. I hope to hear from others. (Retreatants – if you blog, please post a link in the comments below!) Meanwhile, here are some photos from our week in Michigan.
First – we had our meals together in the scenic retreat house dining room. This is our first meal together:
Margaret Realy leads retreatants on a walk through the gardens that she designed at the retreat center.
Here’s award-winning novelist Michelle Buckman, giving the first of her series of talks during the week – “God is in the Details.”
Ave Maria Radio Show host of “Kresta in the Afternoon” – Al Kresta – came with his producer Nick Thomm to give his talk on “Knowing Jesus, Sharing Jesus.” He inspired us to evangelize…and to not be afraid. He and Nick spent the night and watched a movie with us the night before his talk. It was great to have him with us.
Michelle leads a critique session in front of a comfy fireplace. She was freezing most of the time, poor Southern girl… ;)
The entire retreat gang:
Top (left to write): Tim Neboyskey, Connie Beckman, Sister Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT, Margaret Ann Stimatz, Michelle Buckman
Middle: Margaret Rose Realy, Leticia Adams, Leslie Lynch
Bottom: Ann Margaret Lewis (me), Michelle Jones and Jessica Yankovit
Things I forgot to take pictures of (no, seriously, I forgot my phone a few times and I cannot believe I did this, so if other folks have pics, please share): We had a bonfire and toasted marshmallows under the stars, and speakers David Krajewski (who took us through “The Call to Write” and how it relates to the Joyful Mysteries) and Fr. David Rosenberg, who spoke about how he accomplished a very special project though collaborative writing.
It truly was a lovely time, and I hope more of you join us next year!